Home Depot Keeps Richards Group on Ad Account

The Home Depot has retained The Richards Group in Dallas to handle creative duties on its $580 million ad account after a review, the client has confirmed.

Sources identified the other finalists as WPP Group’s JWT in New York, Omnicom Group’s GSD&M Idea City in Austin, Texas, and Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday in Boston.

Final presentations took place Nov. 10 and 12 at Home Depot’s Atlanta headquarters, said sources. Each agency got about two hours to pitch, including 30 minutes for questions, according to sources. The finalists had emerged from a field of seven shops that the retailer visited in September.

Richards could not immediately be reached. Home Depot confirmed the selection this afternoon.

In a statement, Home Depot chief marketing officer Frank Bifulco said he was pleased with the decision to keep Richards, adding, “We look forward to building this relationship in the future.”

Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., managed the process.

This is Richards’ second major win this week following its triumph in the review for Farmers Insurance.

Home Depot is looking to reposition itself in an increasingly competitive marketplace that includes Lowe’s, Wal-Mart and Sears, as well as hardware outlets, paint stores and appliance chains.

The company’s initial RFP noted that in the past five years it has “lost its competitive advantage on all key brand drivers” and now compares unfavorably to Lowe’s on shopping experience and is about equal in terms of products, inspiration, price and experience.